A Gentleman’s Introduction to Becoming a Brandy Connoisseur

If you didn’t already know, you might be surprised to discover that brandy is distilled from fermented fruit juice, as in apricot brandy, or from wine. It is a strong drink, 70-120 alcohol proof, that probably dates from the 6th century when the Chinese began heating wine for sterilization. By the 15th century Armagnac was being produced in France and by the middle of the 17th century ‘Brandywine’ was first named by the Dutch, as Brandewijn, which you could roughly translate as ‘burned wine.’

Traditionally consumed after dinner as a digestif, it’s quite a task to find your way around the different brands, the aging process and the merits of each type. Here are a few tips to help you become a brandy connoisseur.

What makes brandy different?

Brown liquors, such as whiskey, are often grain-based, typically rye or barley, however, brandy is an exce